When the weather gets warm, you may see your energy bills start soaring. What's going on? Your home's air conditioner likely isn't working as efficiently as it could be.
Hot, humid weather can make any AC system kick into high gear. That means you can expect an increase in your energy bill. The harder your air conditioner works, the more electricity it uses. That energy use takes money out of your pocket and puts it into the utility company's income.
So what can you do to lower your AC bills? You could turn your system off, but that means you're sacrificing your physical comfort to save a few dollars. If that's not an option, you can still lower your energy usage. Take a look at the top ways to cut your AC costs and live more energy-efficiently.
Upgrade Your AC
If your air conditioner is so old that you can't even remember when it was installed, you probably need a new system. Older models aren't as energy-efficient as newer ones. New, energy-efficient models use between 30 and 50 percent less energy than AC systems from the 1970s, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
You may not necessarily need to replace your entire system just to see some energy usage reduction benefits. A new energy-efficient compressor installed outside can take some of the cost off of your monthly electric bill.
That said, not all compressors work with the interior equipment of your AC system. Only a licensed professional should help you choose and install a new compressor. The pros can provide you with information on the models that work for your home and install the new compressor the right way the first time.
If you are installing an entirely new system, make sure that your air conditioner is sized for your home. An air conditioner that's too small won't cool your home efficiently, resulting in higher than necessary energy costs.
Cooled air that's escaping through drafty windows, gaps in window frames, under-the-door cracks or in other spaces is costing you money. Use caulking to fill window frame gaps that are less than one-quarter inch. Larger gaps may require a frame repair or replacement, or they might need a backer rod to hold the caulk in place. Weather-stripping around windows and door frames can also help to protect against air leaks.
Along with insulating leaky areas, don't forget to check spaces that aren't cooled by your AC system. If the ductwork doesn't extend into your basement, attic or crawl spaces, hire a pro to insulate these areas for you. This will help to retain some of the cooling and stop energy loss.
The frames aren't the only issue when it comes to older windows. If you have single-pane windows, they may be letting the outside air in and the cool air out. These windows are also probably not doing much to protect your home against the sun's heating rays.
New, energy-efficient windows can stop some of the cooling loss and cut down on the amount of heat that comes in. Look for the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label on new windows. This gives you an idea of how energy-efficient the window is.
For example, the solar heat gain coefficient number measures the window's ability to resist the sun's heat. A low number that is close to zero means that your new window will do more to protect your home and keep it cool.If you need a new, energy-efficient AC system, Action Air of Florida can help. Contact us for more information about how to improve your home’s efficiency.